FRANCOPHONE AFFAIRS BECOMES A MINISTRY: AN IMPORTANT BREAKTHROUGH FOR ONTARIO’S FRANCOPHONES
TORONTO, July 31, 2017 — French Language Services Commissioner François Boileau is delighted with this morning’s announcement by Premier Kathleen Wynne that Francophone Affairs would become a standalone ministry.
“This is excellent news for Ontario’s Francophone residents. This new status will undoubtedly give Francophone Affairs more influence in the Ontario government, but it will also revitalize Ontario’s Francophonie. I hope that this will result in better access to French-language services for all Francophones in Ontario and help the Ministry enhance its role as a catalyst for the government and the community,” said François Boileau.
According to the Premier, the new ministry will promote the use of a Francophone lens to advance and strengthen French-language services while celebrating Francophone culture in Ontario and the rest of Canada. The province’s new observer status in the International Organisation of La Francophonie will allow it to further promote its rich French language heritage at the global level.
“This new entity demonstrates the government’s intention to increase the visibility of Ontario’s Francophonie and its importance in society. This new status will surely pave the way for advances on a number of current issues, including the revision of the French Language Services Act, as well as for as well as for allocation of new funding,” added François Boileau.
• The Office of Francophone Affairs was established in 1986. It became the Ministry of Francophone Affairs, a standalone ministry, on July 31, 2017.
• In 2007, the Office of Francophone Affairs assisted in the establishment of the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner, which became independent in 2014.
• With a population of 612,000, Ontario’s Francophone community is the largest Francophone community in Canada outside Quebec.
• For more than 30 years, Ontario’s Francophone community has had the right to receive government services in French, under the French Language Services Act.
The Office of the French Language Services Commissioner reports directly to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Its principal mandate is to ensure compliance with the French Language Services Act in the delivery of government services.